Fans of Sherlock in the UK were hit with a huge shock upon the conclusion of series 3 on Jan. 12. The finale broke a record for most tweets of a single episode of a drama in the UK, with 377,182. That shock has since been felt in other countries worldwide, and will ripple through to the U.S. this Sunday, when His Last Vow airs. Well, it will be a shock for the disciplined fans who haven’t read the spoilers!
His Last Vow introduces viewers to the overarching antagonist who appeared at the end of The Empty Hearse, Charles Augustus Magnussen. Actor Lars Mikkelsen does a wonderful job in portraying the character, a villain who is both terrifying and creepy, in a scene that will have viewers cringing in disgust. This is balanced out by bringing fans right into the domesticated life of Watson and Mary, following their marriage in The Sign of Three. Sherlock and his many problems will soon come crashing down on them unexpectedly, followed by the eventual confrontation between Magnusson and Sherlock and Watson.
What is interesting is that in the last series viewers were introduced to the classic nemesis, Moriarty, who Sherlock respects for his intelligence and shrewdness; meanwhile, this season’s villian of Magnusson is someone who Sherlock absolutely detests. The character is nothing but pure evil.
His Last Vow has a mid-episode twist, which comes straight out of left field, adding an interesting story arc to the development of one of the series’ main characters. This will lead to a sequence in, let’s just say, Sherlock’s head that extends a little too long, but allows to brings back sweet memories of series 3.
The shocking cliffhanger that ingeniously occurs right as credits are about to roll is, in some way, expected considering the importance of it to the Sherlock mythology; but at the same time, it will leave many viewers gasping. In the UK, Radio Times reported that in the 30 minutes following the episode, 188,328 tweets were generated in reaction.
Radio Times also reported that producers had this twist planned from the beginning, and it wasn’t a challenge to have it occur. In another article with the Radio Times, co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss confirmed that a series 4 and 5 have been plotted out, with Moffat emphasizing it only gets better.
“We have got plans – but our plans don’t tend to be ‘let’s blow up the world or cast the most famous person in the world,'” said Moffat to fans at BAFTA following the screening of His Last Vow two weeks ago. “They tend to be ‘What exciting twists and turns can we add to this?’ And I think we’ve got some crackers!”
His Last Vow is an intelligently-written episode that provides the right balance of thrills and humor. It is not known when Series 4 will air, however, Cumberbatch was cast yesterday in a crime thriller, Blood Mountain, which will begin shooting in April. This will eat into the time Cumberbatch has to film for the next series of Sherlock. At earliest, viewers can expect fall 2015 to find out what this turn of events means for Sherlock and the gang. As far as the Series 3 finale is concerned, catch His Last Vow on PBS Masterpiece at 10pm this Sunday!
By Kollin Lore